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exhibitions

KATE NEWBY, ALWAYS HUMMING

Curators: Pip Wallis, Helen Hughes

Exhibition opening: Friday 17 July 2015, 6–8pm
Exhibition dates: 17 July–29 August 2015

Gertrude Contemporary is pleased to present a new, major exhibition by New Zealand artist Kate Newby, featuring a newly commissioned collaboration with composer Samuel Holloway. Titled Always humming, the exhibition takes over both downstairs galleries and extends to the rooflines of buildings on Gertrude Street, and into its back alleyways, creating a fluid relation between indoors and outdoors. Always humming is an exercise in creating an atmospheric experience rather than a series of discrete objects. Its force is anti-climactic, continuous, infectious; what Jennifer Kabat has described as ‘radically slight.’

In contrast to Newby’s recent series of puddle works, which draw viewers’ attention to the pavement underfoot, all the works in this exhibition are elevated, leaving nothing to see on the floors or walls. A drop ceiling made from large panels of fabric mediates a warm glow emanating from the ceiling. One section of the fabric ceiling has travelled from New Zealand where it was washed in the ocean (salt is a natural fixative) then left on the lawn for several weeks to gather information from the weather and environment. Another of the fabric panels was sewn in an upstairs studio at Gertrude Contemporary then hung out on a washing line in industrial Brunswick for several weeks.

Across the street, on the top ledge of one of the buildings opposite the gallery, Newby has installed a cluster of glazed ceramic shapes. Viewable from inside the gallery, as well as from the street outside of gallery hours, the ceramics operate unlike conventional public sculptures—almost imperceptible, perhaps even accidental.

In the back alleyway, where the vans for neighbouring shops Aunt Maggie’s and Harry Evans and Son move in and out, Newby and Holloway have created a wind chime. Using clay, metal, and glass, the wind chime will interact and respond to the environment of the alleyway: the weather, the trees, the day-to-day bustle of the backstreets. Holloway draws sound back into the gallery, creating a sonic connection between the back laneway and the gallery’s interiors. Much like the other parts of this exhibition, this installation concerns attention—it is about listening rather than hearing.

In response to a question about the ephemeral nature of her practice, Newby has said: ‘I often wonder if things get taken for granted when they are permanent. I know for me, I stop seeing a sculpture if I know it’s going to be there tomorrow, so it becomes given, invisible.’ With the gallery’s impending move from its thirty-year home on Gertrude Street, Newby’s commission will create an atmosphere in which viewers see, hear and frame the gallery and its environs in a new way—making it visible again, if only for a moment.

Kate Newby’s recent solo exhibitions include: I memorized it I loved it so much, Laurel Gitlen, New York; I feel like a truck on a wet highway, Lulu, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, 2014; Maybe I won’t go to sleep at all., La Loge, Brussels, 2014; Let the other thing in, Fogo Island Gallery, Newfoundland, 2013; What a day., Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland, 2013; and How funny you are today, Green Acres Garden, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, 2013. Recent group exhibitions include: Ordering Nature, Marianne Boesky, New York; Where the trees line the water that falls asleep in the afternoon, curated by Chris Sharp, P420, Bologna; NEW15, curated by Matt Hinkley, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2015; An imprecise Science, Artspace, Sydney; The January February March (with Tim Saltarelli, Jennifer Kabat and Anna Moschovakis), New York, 2015; Eraser, Laurel Gitlen, New York, 2015; The Promise, curated by Axel Weider, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2014; Portmanteaux, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland, 2014; Thin Air, curated by Brooke Babington, Slopes, Melbourne, 2014. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Laurel Doody,  Los Angeles in October 2015; and the group exhibition Inside the City at GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen in July 2015. Kate Newby is represented by Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland, New Zealand.

Samuel Holloway is a composer based in Auckland, New Zealand. His work has been performed by prominent artists and ensembles in Asia, Europe and North America, including Klangforum Wien, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Stroma, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Holloway has recently undertaken a number of projects with the collective et al., most recently for the common good, West den Haag, The Netherlands, 2015.

Samuel Holloway’s participation in this exhibition is possible thanks to the support of Unitec Institute of Technology.

This exhibition has been kindly supported by Chartwell Trust.

Full media release here